Dr. Stephen Zunes, Gaza Freedom Flotilla Attack, Breaking News Analysis
Stephen Zunes is chair of the program in Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco. He is a senior policy analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies. And author of several books on the MidEast and international social movements on the region, including Tinderbox, and NonViolent Social Movements.
Welcome to Talk Nation Radio, and our continuing coverage of Israeli commando attacks on the Gaza Freedom flotilla. On Memorial Day in America reports began airing at dawn that passengers on board Gaza Freedom vessels had been attacked and killed by Israeli commandos. A live video feed was running on board the Turkish passenger ship, Mavi Marmara, as the terrifying scene unfolded. Al Jazeera, and Press TV showed passengers ducking for cover while moving the wounded to safety, the Israelis continuing to fire. Between 16 and 20 people lay mortally wounded, even a day after these events casualty reports have been sketchy, loved ones and friends of those on board the five vessels unable to get information. Israel has not released names or details about those shot by their soldiers. We learned from Greta Berlin, a founder of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, that the groups still plans to send the Rachel Corrie, another aid ship, into Gaza with humanitarian aid. There have been demonstrations in Turkey, and Ankara during the day, more are planned worldwide tomorrow. A diplomatic nightmare is unfolding for Israel as Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv. The US State Department and White House were formulating a position as of our call this morning. President Obama says he wants to have more details before commenting. But Israelâs behaviour has been heavily criticized, their actions taken in international waters, more than 70 miles, some reports said 100 miles from land where these ships carry the internationally recognized standing of the flags they fly under, be that Turkey, or European nations or America. We heard from one of the organizers of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla early this morning that they plan to keep trying to get into Gaza, now with the remaining vessel, the Rachel Corrie.
UPDATE: Coming soon, interview, reaction, Frank Barat, Russell Tribunal on Palestine